Can I Give My Dog Calpol? A Vet’s Opinion

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Author: Jacob Kay

Whenever your furry friend gets sick it’s obvious for you to look for medicines that can relieve their pain. But, often dog owners are dubious of whether the medication is suitable for dogs or not. One such instance is when the dog catches a cold or has a fever, owners think – Can I give my dog Calpol?

Providing an exact answer to this question is tricky! But, before we get into it, let’s briefly understand the medication.

Calpol: is a syrup made to tackle symptoms such as colds, fever, headaches, or flu. The syrup mainly contains paracetamol in it. Also, it’s specifically made for children and comes in handy for tackling their pain issues.

Can I Give My Dog Calpol?

If you are giving the medication without Vet’s permission or prescription, the answer is No. It is made for humans and specifically for children. So, it’s obvious that a dog’s metabolism will not handle the content of this medication like that of humans, and instead of relieving their suffering, it ends up worsening the condition.

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Further, it contains paracetamol as the active ingredient. The rough composition is 120-125mg of paracetamol per 5 ml. Yes, it’s less in comparison with the adult’s paracetamol tablet but, too much for the dogs to handle. Let’s use this detail and understand it in detail.

Why dogs can’t have Calpol?

There are no promising studies or research but, normally dogs exhibit signs of toxicity after intake of 75mg of paracetamol per kg of body weight. Any dosage surpassing this limit is most likely to prove toxic or lethal. So, a teaspoonful of Calpol can endanger the life of your canine friend.

However, often dog owners are not aware of these facts and they end up giving their dogs this medication. So, if you have not used it yet, don’t. Following are the effects and symptoms that a dog will have after ingesting this syrup:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increase pulse rate
  • Swelling in the face region or paws
  • liver or kidney damage
  • Red blood cells get damaged

The damage to the kidney or liver is fatal and giving the medication in excessive proportion can elevate the condition. This means liver or kidney damage can result in total failure. Additionally, if your furry friend already has an underlying condition, the situation can escalate quickly.

However, at times vets may suggest using a small dosage of Calpol for dogs. This is mainly to treat a medical condition or relieve them from any pain. So, how much Calpol can you give your dog?

Well, a vet will most likely prescribe you licensed paracetamol for the dogs. Yes, it exists. Paradale V is the dog equivalent of Calpol. If a dog is weighing about 22 lbs (10kgs), you can give 33 mg for every pound of body weight. The dosage frequency depends on the medical condition.

Paracetamol Poisoning In Dogs

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As mentioned earlier, paracetamol is the active ingredient in Calpol. Dogs will not respond well to this medication. Even if you think you have a minimal dosage, you put your furry friend at risk of paracetamol poisoning. It will cause blood cell abnormalities, organ damage and possibly death.

In any such instance, your furry friend will need immediate medical attention. The vet will examine your dog and see if there is any serious issue.

Treatment for paracetamol poisoning

The vet will start with a physical examination, followed by a complete blood count report analysis, urinalysis, and faecal examination. These tests will help in identifying the level of poisoning that your dog is suffering. Afterwards, you can expect the vet to proceed with treatment.

The vet will start with the decontamination and with that also monitor the kidneys and liver of your dog. The monitoring of organs helps in detecting any anomaly during the course of the treatment. If there are any traces of paracetamol, the vet may induce vomiting to keep the stomach clean.

Further, if the condition is getting worse, you will see the vet using supplemental oxygen, intravenous fluid therapy, vitamin C supplementation, cimetidine, N-acetyl cysteine and other liver protectants. Cysteine is an amino acid that helps in recovering or avoiding any potential damage that has been done to the liver.

The recovery

Recovering from paracetamol poisoning takes time. The dog will remain in the medical until the Vet feels that the dog is responding well to the treatments. If the poisoning is severe, recovery will take more time because it’s possible that the dog has gone into a coma.

To avoid any severe medical situation, you will need to keep the medicines out of the reach of your dog, especially the painkillers tablets be it paracetamol, aspirin or any other human medication.

You are probably wondering, is there any safe way to relieve dogs from pain? Yes, there is.

Treating Dog’s Pain Using Natural Elements

If you wish to treat your dog’s pain, try using natural remedies. These elements are helpful in treating several chronic and acute pain issues in dogs. And these natural remedies come in handy while recovering after any clinical treatment. Because they have natural anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties in them.

Below are the natural remedies that you can consider for dogs suffering from pain issues:

  • Turmeric: retains curcumin compound. This compound is well known for tackling diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal issues and also deal with arthritis. You can provide your dog turmeric in small proportions, mix it with the coconut or fish oil and you will see their condition improve.
  • Ginger: is a good source of antioxidants and helps in dealing with inflammation. It’s a circulatory stimulant and also works as an anti-nausea and anti-vomiting supplement for dogs. Here you simply add some ginger to the dog’s regular diet food.
  • Fish oil: has omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation and deal with the pain in your dog’s body. You can serve this supplement with Green Lipid Mussel (GLM) found in Glyde.
  • Hot and cold therapies: if your dog is having pain because of issues in their joints, you can leverage any of these methods. So, once you determine the underlying cause, you can decide which therapy will work the best. For instance, using a heat pack on a dog suffering from arthritis for a few minutes will help them get relief from the pain. Likewise, if they have joint pain, a cold pack is more effective.


Why has my vet told me to give my dog Calpol?

Calpol for dogs is toxic and is not recommended. However, in extreme conditions where there is no probable alternative vets will suggest using Calpol. The health issues of your dog will determine the calculation for the Calpol dosage and you’ll have to follow it. Any mishandling of Calpol dosage for dogs will have severe consequences.

Is metacam the same as calpol?

Metacam is the brand name for meloxicam and vets prescribe this medication for dogs. This medication is helpful for dogs who are suffering from muscle disorders, or joint conditions, or for countering pain post-surgery. However, it’s too strong for dogs who weigh less than 5 pounds. So, it addresses the issues which Calpol does but, is safer and hence, not the same.

Can dogs have liquid paracetamol?

Liquid paracetamol for dogs is not a good idea. In fact, any form of human medication is fatal for dogs and if given, can have severe repercussions. If not careful, the intake of such medicines can not only cause organ failure but, also potentially kill the dog.

Final Remarks

In conclusion, you have the answer to your query – Can I give my dog Calpol? It’s a big no. Only if your vet suggests giving a well-measured dosage you can give them accordingly. Otherwise, the situation can instantly go sideways for your furry friend.

If you give Calpol without Vet’s consult, they stand the risk of suffering from a coma or even death. So, whatever you do, make sure, you avoid giving your furry friend Calpol or any human medication without your Vet’s permission.

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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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